Get to know what FTBs really want

First-time buyers are a hot topic at the moment, with much talk of how we can encourage them into the market. So it\'s interesting to look at just who are first-time buyers, what do they want and how has this changed over the last six months.

The number of first-timers seeking brokers has risen by 50% from last July to this January, based on a sample of about 40,000 enquiries coming through Leadbay.

The average age of first-time buyers has also fallen by almost a year, dropping from 30 years and 10 months to 29 years and seven months.

The male/female ratio has changed from 57% male and 43% female to 61% male and 39% female.

The biggest change has been the effect of lower house prices on LTV ratios and the difference in the amount borrowers have saved before asking for advice. Last July, the average deposit was £31,501 and the average property price buyers were looking at was £163,771, which was an average LTV of 81%.

This has changed significantly. Now the average deposit has risen £35,590, while the average price has dropped by £2,700 to £161,092, resulting in average LTVs of 78%.

None of this indicates how easy or hard it is to get a mortgage, but lead generators act as the litmus test for borrower expectations.

We receive enquiries when consumers are first looking for mortgages or other financial products and so set an expectation of what may be reflected by Halifax, Nationwide and the Council of Mortgage Lenders.